Duane Vermeulen is on the cover of the new SA Rugby magazine, on sale this week.
The Springboks must restore pride to the jersey this season.
That pride was surrendered during a dismal 2016 that saw the Boks suffer eight defeats in 12 Tests. There was a first home loss to Ireland, a first away loss to Argentina, a record home defeat to the All Blacks and a humiliating first defeat to Italy. Throw in that shock loss to Japan at the 2015 World Cup, and it’s no wonder teams don’t fear the Boks any more.
Duane Vermeulen is determined to help change that.
‘I had a lot of time to watch the Boks last year,' he tells SA Rugby magazine. 'I could see that something was missing. The culture wasn’t right. There wasn’t enough pride in the performances. We need to get that back. We need to regain that respect for the jersey and for one another.'
Also the new issue:
– Cobus Reinach won’t be eligible to play for the Springboks once he joins the Northampton Saints in November, but the scrumhalf insists he will still be available for selection
– France’s forwards will pose the biggest threat to the Springboks in June
– In his latest column, John Plumtree says Beauden Barrett may do to the Lions what Dan Carter did 12 years ago
– The Lions are coming, and for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen forewarned is forearmed
– Brian O’Driscoll believes CJ Stander’s courage and determination will boost the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand
– In an extract from his autobiography, former All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter looks back at the first two Tests against the Lions in 2005
– The scaling down of the Super Rugby tournament has forced SA Rugby to make some tough decisions. We look at four possible scenarios ahead of the cull …
– New Zealander Paul Feeney has helped to upskill the Stormers
– Branco du Preez put last season’s disappointments behind him to help the Blitzboks dominate the World Rugby Sevens Series
– In the third instalment of a series on black rugby legends, we look back on the career of former Saru lock and captain Salie Fredericks
– Our latest Saffas in Europe XV based on players' form in April
– Junior Boks coach Chean Roux identifies five key players for the World Rugby U20 Championship
– Chester Williams on coaching the University of the Western Cape to their maiden Varsity Shield title this season
– Breyton Paulse selects his Perfect XV